Utility customers in KCK hit with sticker shock

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KANSAS CITY, Kan. – Some Board of Public Utilities customers saw their utility bills nearly double in a month. FOX 4 has learned that BPU, already under fire for the electrocution death of a man earlier this summer, now is dealing with a computer glitch that has led to unusually high bills for some.

BPU built a new state-of-the-art meter reading system that in theory gets rid of meter readers coming to your house and instead allows the meters to be read remotely by computers. But at least on one block the system had some hiccups.

Customers like John Guckian discovered his bill was nearly double from a month ago. FOX 4 talked with seniors who live on a fixed income and track their usage know their bill didn't make sense

Another woman, Sandra Dunn, whose $600 bill she said was nearly as high as her mortgage payment.

"How'd that make you feel? Broke! I mean when you're light bill is as much as your house payment, you're going to have to do something,” Dunn said.

It turned out that BPU computers were having trouble reading dates on people's meters so they were estimating electric usage based on last year's hot summer when people were cranking their air conditioners.

This summer people expected lower bills and on this block, that's not what they're getting. BPU said they've made some internal fixes and next month's bills should be a lot lower to account for this month, Customers who need payment option or late fees waived will get that if they call customer service.

BPU said it apologizes for the inconvenience and said this was limited to an isolated area, but we don't know if that means 10 customers or 10,000.

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